My loves, the time has come for me to take another break. I am not putting rules around it, I am not disappearing from social media, I am not stopping work cold turkey, but I am making a lot of changes and PUTTING MYSELF FIRST. And here’s why…
I have been pushing myself to the brink. Despite my body being totally afflicted by Lyme and co-infections, I have found myself telling a story in my head that goes like this: “Wow. I am superhuman. I am so, so sick, I wake up feeling like absolute shit, and yet I still manage to get through the day and get everything on my to-do list done and run my brand and grow my business and see everyone who matters to me and show up for others and be a great fiancé — damn, I am a total badass.”
Don’t get me wrong, telling myself I am doing amazing is not the problem. I believe in the power of optimism and positive thinking to no end. The problem with the story I have been telling myself is that it completely contradicts how my body feels. It is a constant struggle, a severe FORCE to get through all of those things each day. It wraps my heart into a tiny little ball and squeezes it until it can barely breathe because my heart tells me daily (actually minutely…) to slow down, but my mind says, “NO we’re going to keep going. We have to keep going! What will happen if we don’t?”
You might think this sounds really militant of me but sadly this is a very common issue among those of us with chronic illness. Once you’ve been sick for so long it’s just so hard to accept that things… well… they aren’t getting better. Especially if you’re not listening to your body or putting rest first.
You might remember that back in the winter time I took two months off for my healing. I planned on it being a total digital detox but I found that to be too strict, especially because I also realized during that time that sharing and connecting on social media is healing for me. Simultaneously I stopped working, stopped podcasting, cut myself off from a large part of my community (you guys), and didn’t really know what to do with myself. I didn’t like it at all.
So this time there are not those kinds of rules. I will still be on social, but will be taking on VERY minimal partnerships so it’s not really work, it’s just fun. I will still be podcasting, but I am strictly limiting myself to interviewing one guest per week OR one guest every two weeks (still figuring this one out) and filling in the blanks with solo episodes. Still considering podcasting once every 2 weeks as well… would love your input on that. 🙂
My breaking point //
And the reason for all of this is that I hit an absolutely huge breaking point over the weekend and earlier this week — the kind of breaking point that terrified me. I knew if I kept pushing, kept going and going at this pace, I would run the risk of living this way forever. Crash and burn, crash and burn, crash and burn, crash and burn. I refuse for that to be my life. I don’t believe in living that way, I would never allow anyone I love to live that way, yet I still have such stress and control about the way I live my own life it’s ridiculous.
I went to Canada over the weekend for a course I signed up for, although my body was telling me it was not a good time to travel nor was it a good time to do a course. I felt that since I committed to it AND since I shared it on my blog/podcast/etc. I needed to hold myself accountable. I also felt that once I got there all would be fine.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. The moment I got to LAX everything felt off. I felt like I was fighting off the flu. I landed in Vancouver and took a shuttle to Whistler, where I got violently car sick and threw up the entire way there. By the time I got to the town I was going to outside of Whistler, I was just ready to fall asleep and let my body rest. I didn’t sleep one single wink that entire night, for several reasons but one was a fire alarm that needed a battery switch so it beeped all night long.
The next day I woke up (except not woke up because I didn’t sleep) with hives on my eyelids and arms that I thought were misquito bites so I didn’t do anything about it at first. As the hours went on, I realized the rash was spreading and that it was most definitely hives and pretty severe welts. By the afternoon I was hardly able to be a part of the class I had gone there to take. I pushed myself to stay awake / be present until that evening, but my body was DONE. My entire body felt like it was on fire. My heart was racing with anxiety knowing how much pain I was in and how far I was from home. I felt so frustrated with myself for pushing my body in this state to be there.
I did sleep that night, and when I woke up on Sunday I was covered even more. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen the pictures. It was BAD. That day I wasn’t able to participate in the class at all. I laid in bed and waited for my shuttle departure time and then headed back to Vancouver — still feeling so far from home. I slept in a hotel that night and was filled with so much longing for Jonathan, Huddy and my parents I could barely breathe. I knew I was headed in for a full blown panic attack…
Fast forward to landing in LA — thrilled to be home, felt that I had learned a major lesson about pushing myself, my hives were going way down, and bam… I woke up with the flu. The FLU. I was so dizzy, nauseous, and foggy I could barely think. I was up the entire night on Tuesday throwing up, shaking, and feeling like I had been totally poisoned. I saw my doctor on Tuesday as well and she was able to determine that I had had mold exposure sometime upon my arrival in Canada.
So now not only was I recovering from mold poisoning but my immune system was so weakened I developed the flu. I sobbed that entire night to Jonathan and my mom saying I wanted / needed to turn my phone off for an entire month and just let people contact me through them if anyone needed me.
Then I got a text from one of my amazing, deeply intuitive friends Mariah Lyons (have you heard her on the podcast?) saying she felt I needed to do EXACTLY THAT.
So that is still on the table but we will see. It does sound absolutely incredible.
Anyway, around 11pm my mom left and Jonathan came home from a work dinner and got into bed with me (but not without showering first because I was so, so sensitive to the smells from the restaurant — another product of mold poisoning / histamine levels rising) and from there we had a very powerful experience.
He was able to calm me down and get me to speak to the pain in my body. Immediately the pain wanted to be seen, heard, felt, and spoken to. It was ALL in my heart. It was a searing, fiery ball of pain right in the center of my heart, and felt like it was being squeezed by a rubber band. Loud and clear it spoke to me: “You’re doing too much. You’re running and running on this hamster wheel of life and you just need to get off. We need to be able to trust you. You know what you need, and you’re not doing it. Please give us what we need.”
Slow down. Be mindful. Stop pushing. Stop being forceful. NONE of this outer stuff matters. Health matters. My body matters. Being present for myself and my family matters. Getting healthy for me and my family matters. Nothing. Else. Matters. Work doesn’t matter. Disappointing people doesn’t matter (because disappointing them is a construct I have made up in my head out of fear of disappointing them to begin with). None of this stress matters!!!! It can be alleviated so easily!!!
Then we proceeded to have a deeply powerful experience that for now I will keep to myself because another thing I realized is that since I share everything SO openly — my heart can not exactly trust what is just for me, or just for me and those closest to me. It’s important to have those things sometimes.
What I will tell you is that I was communicating with my angels and guides and it was a deeply beautiful experience. They shared with me everything I needed to know.
After that I got up and spent the whole night journaling. I wrote down everything I needed to cancel / reschedule in my schedule for the coming months. Immediately I could breathe so much easier. I decided I wanted to continue the podcast… either weekly or every two weeks (weekly for now) because it makes me happy. But ONLY if I stick to interviewing one guest a week rather than piling on guests each week and also appearing on other podcasts/events/etc. every week.
And if I do want to maintain the podcast, that means I need to be very mindful in other areas. Very little energy output in other places so I can save it for that once weekly interview that I commit to.
Also just less stressing about whether people will be upset that I can’t make plans with them or do hardly anything right now. My real friends get it. Anyone who has walked in these shoes gets it, anyone who loves me gets it. That’s really all that matters.
I even got a ton of downloads about food — what I should be eating, how my diet has really served me well over the last year but its time to reevaluate a bit, and more. My body knows EXACTLY what it wants and it is thrilled that I am listening.
I swear after that my fever broke and my spirits lifted. I spent the entire day lying on the couch watching RHOBH yesterday and it felt SO DAMN GOOD. No judgment of myself, no guilt, just pure rest and cuddles with Hud.
Today I am feeling a slight bit better but as my sister just reminded me in a text… that doesn’t mean run out and do a bunch of things!! It means STAY PUT and keep resting.
So that is what I will be doing. 🙂
I wanted you guys to know all of this and that I am dedicated to taking it very easy for the next few months — more like the next year. I also have a WEDDING to plan and I don’t want the fun and excitement of my wedding to be dimmed because of how I feel. I don’t want to live the rest of my life as a sick person who can’t seem to get her act together and put her health first.
I believe deeply that this experience in Canada was a gift for me to go inward and learn what my breaking point really looks like — to finally BREAK and rebuild. It is time to give myself that gift and that permission.
I am so grateful to Jonathan and to my parents — true saints on this earth. I don’t know where the hell I would be without them but definitely not where I am right now. I am also so grateful to the amazing Dr. Erica Lehman… the kind of doctor who texts you immediately when she sees a photo of you with hives on Instagram, and who checks in on you daily until you feel better. She is my guardian angel. I love this brilliant and loving little team of mine so, so, so much.
Forever in gratitude. <3
XO, would love to hear your thoughts. I am excited about this time of rest and learning how to live differently.